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19 Best views in Vancouver and how to find them

Wondering where to find the best views in Vancouver?

Honestly, it’s not hard since Vancouver is renowned for being a pretty city and there are many beautiful views in Vancouver.

You’re surrounded by mountains, beaches, forests, and Vancouver lakes.

What’s not to love about that?

I’ve spent more than six years living in Vancouver and I’ve scoured the city for the best viewpoints, beaches, and more. I love being a tour guide to my family, friends, and friends’ friends when they visit the city, and if they ask where they can get a great view of the city, I direct them to this post.

Whether you’re visiting Vancouver, or are a local looking for the best Vancouver viewpoints, this list of the best Vancouver views will help you out with snapping that new photo for the ‘gram!

They’re undoubtedly some of the best Vancouver photo spots and can be reached with little effort!

Want more Vancouver views? Check out the most instagrammable places in Vancouver

best views vancouver bc

Best Vancouver views 

All of these viewpoints in Vancouver are downtown or just a short drive away. Many of them you can tick off by hiring a bike and cycling around Vancouver (which I highly recommend).

1. Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver

queen elizabeth park viewpoint vancouver

Queen Elizabeth Park is the highest point in the city. Also known as “the top of the city”, it’s no surprise that Queen Elizabeth Park makes the list of the best viewpoints in Vancouver.

Often overlooked by visitors who favor the infamous Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park has stunning views of downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains.

From the top of the park, you can gaze out past the curated flowers and trees, across the water, and over to Grouse Mountain. Given that, many would say this is the best view of Vancouver!

The best views from Queen Elizabeth Park are from Bloedel Conservatory (one of the best things to do in Vancouver when it rains) and Seasons in the Park restaurant.

While you’re up there, visit the Love Lock Statue, and the Dancing Water Fountain and spend some time enjoying the gardens.

2. Granville Street Bridge

Often a view in and of itself, Granville Street Bridge is a great place to capture photos looking either east or west.

My personal favorite is to look west and capture Burrard Bridge in a photo with Stanley Park and the Sunshine Coast in the distance for a unique take on Vancouver scenic spots.

3. Burrard Bridge

From the middle of Burrard Street Bridge, you can get great views of False Creek as it meets the ocean. Head to the northern edge of the bridge and capture Sunset Beach, English Bay, and Stanley Park in one photo.

  • Top tip: This spot is great at sunset! 

4. Lonsdale Quay

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Lonsdale Quay North Vancouver

Over in North Vancouver, standing on Lonsdale Quay offers amazing views of the Vancouver skyline. The North Vancouver lookout is best from Lonsdale Quay and Market and is stunning on a summer’s evening!

For a more unique view, take the sea bus from North Vancouver to Vancouver and nab some photos of the skyline from the water while enjoying the Vancouver city view.

This North Vancouver view point is perfect for a drink while enjoying some of Vancouver’s best patios. And, if it’s the best view of downtown Vancouver you’re looking for, you can’t get much better than this

5. Views in Vancouver from the Harbour Centre Lookout

harbour centre lookout vancouver views

The Vancouver lookout, or Vancouver observation deck, takes you high up and offers a unique perspective of downtown Vancouver’s high-rise buildings. It’s one of my top recommendations for things do to if you only have a day in Vancouver.

Look southeast to see if you can see Mt Baker which is often visible on a clear day. For Vancouver mountain views it doesn’t get much better than this. 

The high-speed exterior glass elevator on the outside of the tower will take you to the top in around 40 seconds.

What’s really great is that tickets to the Vancouver Lookout give you an all-day admission. This means that you can visit several times in a day to take in the views and it’s such a cool place for some of the best views in Vancouver at nighttime!

There is also a revolving restaurant that does great food all day long.

Book your ticket for the Vancouver lookout here.

6. Cypress Mountain Lookout 

cypress mountain lookout views

One of my absolute favorite Vancouver viewpoints is from the Cypress Mountain lookout on the way up to Cypress Mountain. Sunrise and sunset here offer spectacular views of the city down below.

This lookout is located on the way to the Cypress Mountain Resort in West Vancouver which is home to some of the best Vancouver hikes.

Since you can drive here, it’s a great option for car viewpoints Vancouver has to offer.

7. False Creek (Olympic Village side)

kayaking in false creek things to do on the water in Vancouver

Head over to Olympic Village in Vancouver and snap photos of Science World and the calm waters of False Creek.

8. Stanley Park Seawall (West End side)

downtown vancouver views stanley park

Walk from English Bay to the second beach swimming pool and continue to follow the seawall around until you reach a point with a couple of benches.

Then, look back to where you’ve come from and appreciate the views of downtown Vancouver and its beaches.

I love this viewpoint and it is one I visit most days while running in Vancouver.

9. Stanley Park Seawall (Coal Harbour side)

downtown vancouver views stanley park

In the morning, this area often turns pink and orange and offers a beautiful view of the downtown Vancouver skyline.

I’ve often seen river otters swimming around here too as well as seals.

It also makes a great place to take in a Vancouver night view as you get the lights from all the buildings in Coal Harbour as well as the Vancouver Convention Centre all lit up.

It’s a pretty cool Vancouver photography spot offering one of the best views of Vancouver’s skyline.

You can also check out the totem poles, and the Vancouver aquarium and see the horse-drawn carts in summer.

If you stick on the building side and look north you’ll get one of the best mountain views near Vancouver as you look out to the North Shore Mountains.

10. From a sea plane in Vancouver

seaplane tour vancouver

Taking a seaplane from Vancouver harbour around the city is one of the best things to do in Vancouver.

It offers such amazing views of the mountains and the city itself.

We booked a seaplane ride not long after moving to Vancouver and it was such a good way to see more of the city and the surrounding beauty.

You can also get these views of Vancouver if you take the seaplane to Seattle or Victoria and Tofino on Vancouver Island.

You can book tickets here. 

11. Capitol Hill, Burnaby

One of the secret views of Vancouver, Capitol Hill Reservoir Park in Burnaby is easy to get to by taking the Skytrain.

From this Vancouver viewpoint, you can take in views of Burnaby’s Metrotown skyline as well as the Vancouver skyline in the distance and the North Shore Mountains. 

12. Burnaby Mountain

burnaby mountain views

Another awesome Burnaby viewpoint is Burnaby Mountain. Burnaby Mountain, home of the SFU campus, is a grassy hill with awesome views of downtown Vancouver and even Lions Gate Bridge.

There are also some totem poles here which are worth checking out!

I recommend this as a Vancouver sunset spot or taking in the Vancouver skyline at night. 

13. Granville Island

granville island vancouver bc views

This is one of those Vancouver lookout points that’s often overlooked.

As one of the best viewpoints in Vancouver, this one is found on the western edge of Granville Island.

Head to where the sea buses come in to dock, you can enjoy great views of Burrard Bridge and downtown Vancouver. 

There have even been orcas that enter False Creek seen from here in previous years!

14. Grouse Mountain

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Sat in the middle of the North Shore’s three main mountain resorts (Cypress, Grouse and Seymour), Grouse Mountain is one of the easiest to get to from downtown Vancouver.

The Grouse Mountain view of Vancouver offers great views of the city, especially if you make your way up to the peak (either on foot or by chairlift). 

15. Prospect Point

most instagrammable spots in vancouver prospect point

Prospect Point in Stanley Park is the place to go if you’re looking to get a photo of Lions Gate Bridge.

This point, high up in the park, gives you views of the North Shore mountains, the bridge, and Burrard Inlet below. 

Arguably the best view in Vancouver, Prospect Point is super pretty all year round.

If there’s been some fresh snow on the mountains, this is where you’ll get one of best mountain views in Vancouver.

16. Charleson Park

charleson park vancouver views

This beautiful grassy park on the southern side of False Creek is not only a great place to take your dog for a run (it’s an off-leash park!), but it has sweet views of downtown Vancouver too!

It’s a great spot if you want to capture a Vancouver skyline view.

17. Jericho Beach

jericho beach vancouver viewpoints

Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks are two of the best beaches in Vancouver and are also home to some of the best lookouts in Vancouver.

Located near Kitsilano (or Kits), Jericho Beach is best enjoyed at sunset while watching the volleyball players as the sun dips down into the sea. 

It’s also a great spot for paddleboarding and kayaking or learning to sail at the Jericho Sailing Club.

  • Top tip: The Jericho Sailing Club bar has a gorgeous patio area with amazing views of the ocean and the North Shore Mountains. Plus, the drinks are reasonably priced too!

18. Ambleside Park – best West Vancouver view point

When we first moved to Vancouver we spent a lot of time in West Vancouver and it’s easy to see why when you soak in the views from Ambleside Park. 

Personally, I think this is one of the prettiest places in Vancouver.

  • Top tip: Get a pizza from Blaze Pizza and take it down to the beach for dinner with a view in Vancouver! 

19. Secret Vancouver Viewpoints: Sunset platform

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The Horseshoe Bay sunset platform near Vancouver is my new favorite spot for watching the sunset in Vancouver but it’s great at any time of day!

It’s a real Vancouver hidden gem and a top pick if you’re looking for scenic places in Vancouver for sunset.

Take some snacks and soak into the views, this Vancouver view point is one to remember with one of the best views in BC!

20. Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre

vancouver convention centre best vancouver views

Canada Place is an iconic landmark in Vancouver and offers one of the best Vancouver viewpoints.

Canada Place is home to the convention center and it’s built to look like a sailboat. It’s also where the cruise ships dock in the summer cruise season and where numerous conventions and events take place over the course of the year.

From the Convention Centre, you can see Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, and the North Shore Mountains and watch the seaplanes landing and taking off.

It’s one of my favorites for Vancouver best views especially if you’re staying downtown or catching a cruise.

21. English Bay & Sunset Beach

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Sunset beach at sunrise

Located in Vancouver’s West End, where we lived for almost 6 years, Sunset Beach and English Bay are two beautiful sandy beaches right in the peninsula of downtown Vancouver.

This is arguably the most scenic place in Vancouver, especially at sunset.

You get incredible sunset views from both beaches though Sunset Beach was my favourite.

Sunset Beach is typically a lot quieter than English Bay and I think the views are even better!

22. Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver

lighthouse park west vancouver hiking trails

Lighthouse Park, located in West Vancouver, is home to one of the most photographed landmarks in the city: the lighthouse!

And, behind that lighthouse is one of the best views of Vancouver!

This picturesque park offers panoramic views of Bowen Island, and you can often see seals swimming alongside the coastline. It’s one of the best viewpoints Vancouver has to offer.

It’s a great place for some easy hiking in Vancouver, launching your paddleboard, or even going rock climbing while enjoying some of the best views near Vancouver.

23. Dog Mountain Trail

dog mountain trail

The Dog Mountain trail on Mt Seymour is one of the best easy hikes near Vancouver.

This short hike is mostly flat and takes you through the forest before coming out at a rocky outcrop with great views over Vancouver and out towards Grouse Mountain.

This is one of the best views Vancouver has to offer, though you’ll have to work a little bit for it!

This hike is super popular in both summer and winter and can be enjoyed all year round.

Once you hike it, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best views in Vancouver since you’ll see tonnes of gorgeous Vancouver scenery!

Canada Travel Planning Guide

Should I buy Canada travel insurance?

100% YES! — You should have travel insurance for all your trips. Though Canada has “free” healthcare, it’s only for residents. If you’re just visiting, you’ll need travel insurance should you need medical care. It also helps you claim for delayed flights or lost/stolen baggage. We use SafetyWing for our travel insurance!

Is it safe to rent a car in Canada?

Yes — Renting a car is a good idea in most of Canada as public transit isn’t the best!

Car hire is usually quite reasonable, especially compared to some other countries and they’ll all be automatic so you shouldn’t have a problem driving it if you’re used to manual transmission.

I personally use a mix of DiscoverCars and RentalCars to find the best deal that works for me when I rent a car. I used them in Norway, Italy, and Canada when we first moved, and have never had an issue. For RV rental I recommend Outdoorsy.

What’s the best way to pay/exchange money for Canada?

Wise (formerly Transferwise!) — I use my Wise card everywhere these days. I fill it with a certain currency and then I can spend it in countries across the world, online and even for direct debits. Wise has the best currency exchange rates (and they’ll even tell you when you can get it cheaper elsewhere!). When you pay in another currency through chip and pin or tap/wireless, they’ll automatically convert it for you – it’s easy! This link gets you a fee-free transfer.

Do I need a visa for Canada?

Many countries do not need a visa to travel to Canada — However, you may need an ETA which costs $7 (you need this if you’re from the UK). You can buy them online and they usually take a few hours to come through though it can take longer. Only ever buy from this official website otherwise you’ll end up paying more money necessarily. If you want to move to Canada, check out my guide to the Working Holiday Visa which is how we first moved there! Always check the official Canadian Immigration website to see whether you need a visa to travel there.

Will my phone work in Canada?

It depends — Some American and European companies work in Canada for a certain amount of data or time but many will not work at all. Getting a Canadian SIM card will help you get around with Google Maps and stay in touch with people back home. There isn’t much free WIFI in Canada so you can’t really rely on that, especially if you’re heading outside of major cities.

Where can I book my Canada accommodation?

I always check for hotels or Hostel World for hostels. If I’m looking for something for a bigger group of people, or a bit more unique (cosy cabins, luxury beach houses) then I use VRBO.

When we first moved to Canada we used Trusted Housesitters to get free accommodation!

What’s the best site to buy Canada flights?

I only ever use Skyscanner to find cheap flights no matter where I’m travelling!

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Hannah

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